I can only speak for myself, but my cravings to eat chocolate don't disappear just because the sun is out and the air is warm!
It does complicate things, though — chocolate melts! And sometimes when it melts it makes a huge mess. Anyone who knows me, knows that if there is a mess to be made, it's going to happen ALL OVER ME!
So, chocolate bars are out once the mercury rises. Incidentally, though, rather than desiring chocolate bars or heavier cakes or brownies, instead I long for chocolate that's cold or frozen, and... yup... coupled with VEGETABLES.
I love sneaking vegetables into food when it is least expected! It's a great way for parents to sneak healthy plants into their little ones... and themselves! Plus, it makes enjoying a sweet treat just that much sweeter because you know it's also doing your body good!
Most people assume that chocolate and vegetables can't possibly go together, but they are so wrong about that! Summertime presents the perfect opportunity to pair chocolate with another one of my very favourite things: avocado!
Both chocolate (the darker the better!) and avocado are nutritional powerhouses. Polyphenols in dark chocolate can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and raising the antioxidant capacity of good cholesterol (HDL), according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Another potential benefit of eating chocolate may include slowing or preventing cognitive decline. Dark chocolate is iron-rich, and contains some fibre.
Avocado is the only fruit that provides a significant amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. They are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre. Consuming avocado has been linked with numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. I love them almost as much as I love chocolate!
This recipe also contains dates and banana, which both contain fibre and are rich in various vitamins and minerals.
You will need a popsicle mould, but these are easily purchased and can be re-used over and over again!
These popsicles can still melt, but I doubt you'll have them around long enough. They are so good you won't be able to resist eating it quickly!
Dark Chocolate Avocado Popsicles
4 ounces of dark 70% chocolate
Three ripe avocados, diced
1⁄2 cup of maple syrup
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of almond, cashew, hemp or rice milk
1⁄2 cup of softened dates
1⁄2 ripe banana
Pinch of Pink Himalayan sea salt
Chopped toasted almonds for garnish
Melt the chocolate gently over low heat in a small saucepan.
Place Avocado, maple syrup, dates, vanilla, banana and sea salt into a food processor and purée. Add the melted chocolate and purée until completely incorporated.
Add the milk one tablespoon at a time and continue to purée to a creamy consistency.
Scoop dark chocolate decadence into popsicles molds.
Freeze for minimum 2 hours.
SAVOUR every bite!
Want to learn more about living SMART? Learn to see food not as the enemy in your health journey, but as a friend, with Kathy Smart's five-week Live the Smart Way Program.
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